By: Chris Clay – Mississauga News

May 09, 2017


Although the MARTY Awards don’t happen until later this month, the first group of award winners has just been announced.

Traditionally the Mississauga Arts Council, which each year organizes and presents the awards that celebrate the best from Mississauga’s arts community, reveal in advance the winners of the Laurie Pallett Patron of the Arts Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Hazel McCallion Volunteer of the Year Award. This year’s recipients will receive their awards at the MARTY Awards gala that’s happening Thursday, May 18 at the Mississauga Convention Centre.

Taking home the prestigious Laurie Pallett award is Jack Prazeres, the longtime chairperson of the popular Mississauga cultural festival Carassauga. Prazeres has a long history of community involvement but his work with Carassauga is what stood out to the arts council when making its decision, according to MAC executive director Mike Douglas.

“The board felt that Jack was a tremendous choice for (the award),” said Douglas, adding Carassauga is arguably the “most successful” multicultural festival in the country. “Carassauga has made great contributions to both the city’s culture and identity.”

Taking home the Lifetime Achievement Award is the popular and prolific science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer. It’s just another award to add to his already-impressive list of accolades that includes the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Robert A. Heinlein Award and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

Sawyer released his latest novel Quantum Night on paperback at the start of February and it explores what happens when a far-right psychopath emerges from out of seemingly nowhere to become the next president of the United States.

The Hazel McCallion Award for Volunteer of the Year goes to Jake Dheer. He, like Prazeres, is another extremely active person in the community and he sits on a number of boards including Heritage Mississauga and the Mississauga Sports Council.

Meanwhile, there’s been a few changes to this year’s awards with a new category — Festival of the Year — being added. Creative design is also new this year and is a merging of the culinary arts and fashion and beauty categories along with graphic design and architecture.

Awards will be presented in a number of categories, including literary, media, theatre, visual, music – solo instrumental, music – solo vocalist, music – group, dance and creative design as well as the formal presentations for lifetime achievement, patron of the arts award and volunteer of the year.

Awards will be presented to established artists in the above-mentioned categories. Emerging artists have received a statuette in the past, but this year will receive certificates of excellence.

Performers already lined up for the show include David O’Hearn and Timetrip, opera vocalist Anna Wojcik, members of the Mississauga Big Band Jazz Ensemble, musician Arlene Paculan, violinist Yi-Jia Susanne Hou and dance crew Ground Illusionz.

Tickets cost $90. To purchase or for more information, call 905-615-4278 or visit


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